For the week of April 7, 2001 / 14 Nisan 5761
Torah: Vayikra / Leviticus 6:1 - 8:36 (English: 6:8 – 8:36)
Haftarah: Jeremiah 7:21-8:3; 9:22-23
Replaced by Malachi 3:4-24

Just Do It!

The LORD said to Moses: "Give Aaron and his sons this command: 'These are the regulations…'" (Vayikra / Leviticus 6:1,2 [English 6:8,9])

If we study the regulations governing the various Torah sacrifices we notice a quite a bit of detail. Some sacrifices were to be done daily, others were for certain occasions. Sometimes the type of animal offered depended on the severity of the situation or the status of the individual offering it. How each sacrifice was offered also differed. Some were to be eaten, some not. And of the ones that could be eaten some were to be eaten only by the priests, while others could be eaten by the person offering the sacrifice.

There were animal sacrifices, grain offerings and even drink offerings. Some sacrifices were waved. There are specific regulations for the parts of the animal, what to do with the blood and whether or not the hide could be utilized.

Obviously there must be reasons why the regulations for one sacrifice differ widely from that of another. I am sure that we have much to learn about God and life from all this. That said, there really isn't that much explanation in the Torah itself as to the whys and wherefores of the sacrifices.

But does there need to be? Isn't it good enough that God said to do these things? Next week's parsha (portion), tells us that in response to the people following God's instructions the glory of God appeared to all the people. It wasn't their understanding of the details that caused them to experience God, it was that they just did what he said.

Now let me make clear that gaining understanding in the things of God is a good thing. I do not want to discourage anyone from thoroughly studying Torah. There is much to learn from the details. It is just that sometimes our insistance to understand what God is saying gets in the way of doing what he says.

We must obey God. We must do what he says when he says it. Too often we treat God's word as if it is nothing but a set of lovely suggestions rather than his commandments.

I recognize that it is not always easy to know what God is saying to us. But so much of what he says is very clear. And so whatever God is saying to you right now, just do it!

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